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My table is set. I’m ready for Thanksgiving. How about you?

Thanksgiving tablescape idea

I like to prepare for the big day in stages, easing my way into it. I know I’ll be busy enough that day, with a myriad of things to do. Wrestling with the big bird comes to mind, having always disliked that part the most.

And unfortunately, I have now become the adult, with nephews and nieces that come to visit on Thanksgiving, occasionally with a friend or two. Since I’m the adult, I have to do the cooking of the bird. Makes me want to go back to California where I was part of the younger generation, and did not have to show up with a roasted turkey.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Of course, I love my nieces and nephews, and even their friends. I would love to have them come visit me every day. They are funny to watch, these youngsters. And I always learn a few things from them every time I see them.

A few years ago, I added a couple of words to my vocabulary. Belieber and Swiftie. Earlier this year I learned what selfie meant. Had no idea prior to that. See, it’s good to listen to the young ones. They teach you important stuff.

I just don’t like wrestling with a turkey. I have a feeling I’m not the only one. So, the more I can do now, the less I’ll have to do on the big day. Didn’t you know I’m a smart woman? Here are a few things that I’ve made so far.

nature name cards
Place Cards
These are so easy to make, and cost almost nothing. Use whatever nature provides you with. Go to your backyard and pick up leaves, rocks, seeds, etc. Clean them first, of course. Then, either glue on a piece of paper with the name written on it, or write on the natural material itself, whatever it is. Just like what I did with the leaf.

persimmon pumpkin cookies

Persimmon Pumpkin Cookies
If you can’t find persimmons, just use more pumpkin in its place. These are not as sweet as your normal cookies, but they’re equally delicious. You can certainly add more sugar if you prefer them sweeter. The dough can be made ahead of time and then frozen until you are ready to bake.

2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup persimmon pulp
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350Β° F.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, agave nectar, and vanilla. Blend well.
3. Add persimmon pulp and pumpkin. Blend well.
4. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
5. Stir in nuts.
6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes for soft, cake-like cookies. Or leave in the oven longer (15 minutes) for crisper cookies.

Easy Sugar Glaze
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp milk

Mix sugar and milk until smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze onto cookies. This is enough glaze for a dozen cookies.

mini dinner rolls

Mini Dinner Rolls
I usually make buttermilk biscuits to go with our Thanksgiving meal. But I decided to try making rolls this year. I must be getting more confident about my bread-making skills. This is all Gerard’s fault!

I made 2 kinds of bread. A potato bread and an oatmeal bread. The potato bread didn’t turn out as good as I thought it would, even though I followed the recipe to a tee. It’s not bad, just not very good. Uh, Gerard, we’re in need of a good potato bread recipe! The oatmeal rolls were much better.

3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 cup rolled oats (I used quick-cooking oats)
2 tbsp agave nectar or sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
3 tbsp butter
1 egg

1. In your mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup oats, salt and yeast. Mix well.
2. Place milk, water, butter, and agave nectar or sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat just until butter melts (about 120Β° F). Stir in sour cream.
3. Add warm liquid to flour mixture. Beat with the paddle attachment at low-speed until moistened. Add the egg and continue to blend until well combined.
4. Replace the paddle with the dough hook, and add 1/2 cup oats and 2 cups flour.
5. Continue mixing at low-speed for about 2 minutes. Dough will be quite stiff.
6. Increase speed to medium and continue to knead for 3-4 minutes, and dough cleans sides of bowl.
7. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
8. Punch dough down and shape as desired. I made mine into mini rolls.
9. Place your rolls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
10. Heat oven to 375Β° F. Uncover rolls, brush tops with egg wash (optional), and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 30 mini rolls.

Thanksgiving centerpiece
Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Thanksgiving sideboard decor ideas
My sideboard is ready, too.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!